The Magic of Mushrooms

Nutritious, delicious, & sustainable, mushrooms are a total superfood. Discover easy ways to get all the health benefits of the humble mushroom.

Mushrooms on pizza, stuffed at parties, swimming in soup; mushrooms can be found on plenty-o-plates all over the world. 

And for good reason. 

Mushrooms are one of the most sustainable foods we can grow and eat and one of the healthiest. 

These humble fungi are superfoods that rarely get the love and recognition they deserve.  

What’s so great about the mighty mushroom? 

Almost everything! 

Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are naturally low in calories and sodium. They’re naturally fat, cholesterol, and gluten-free, and are loaded with beneficial nutrients!

Let’s take a look at what the mighty mushroom is good for:


Mushrooms are loaded with B vitamins galore, which help breakdown proteins, fats, and carbohydrates and provide energy to the body. 

B vitamins also play an important role in nerve function.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and Niacin (Vitamin B3) are abundant in mushrooms. Riboflavin helps with hormone production and nerve function, and niacin is essential for red blood cell production.


Mushrooms are rich in trace minerals essential for cell function, such as: 

  • pantothenic acid
  • Selenium
  • Ergothioneine
  • Copper
  • potassium

All of these antioxidant-rich minerals can help prevent inflammation in the body.

Weight Management

Mushrooms are relatively low in carbs and also pack a decent punch in the fiber department, so they have little impact on blood sugar levels and are great for dieters watching their sugar intake.

Immune System and Metabolism Support

Beta-glucans, which are found in the oyster, shitake, and split gill mushrooms, may stimulate immune response and help develop resistance to allergies. Beta-glucans may also play a role in the body’s breakdown and metabolism of fats and sugars.

A Sustainable Food Source

Mushrooms have been called “one of the most sustainably produced foods in the United States.”

The Mushroom Council reports that to produce one pound of mushrooms, you only need 1.8 gallons of water and 1 kilowatt of electricity. They are an excellent choice for small space growing as they don’t need much land. 

One acre of land will yield up to 1 million pounds of mushrooms annually! 

Mushrooms are grown in soil and beds of composted material. After harvest, they can easily be recycled into potting soil, contributing to improved soil health.  

It’s the mushroom circle of life!

Delicious Mushroom Dishes

Now that we know how much mushrooms have to offer, how can we get more on our plates? 

Mushrooms add a savory, umami flavor that makes dishes more satisfying and filling, so they’re not always appropriate to add to every flavor profile. If you’re just starting out with mushrooms, try adding them in these ways: 

  • Use mushrooms in place of tomatoes in mushroom bruschetta
  • Sautee mushrooms with potatoes and top with a fried egg for a savory, hearty, breakfast
  • Mix chopped sautéed mushrooms into meatball mix, taco mix, or chili
  • Make mushrooms the star of a savory soup 
  • Add mushrooms to your avocado toast
  • Slice raw button mushrooms and dip in dressing or hummus

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different kinds of mushrooms and ways of cooking them. You’ll quickly find new flavors and textures to love and easily inspire more fungi-filled healthy dishes in your kitchen!

Nutritious, delicious, plant-based, and sustainable… mushrooms certainly are magic, indeed.

Justine Hays, MS, RD, CDN
Hi! I'm Justine Hays, a registered dietitian, and wellness writer. Food, and memories of food, shaped my life early on, so did my drive and desire to help people. After getting a B.S. in business and marketing, I found my heart wasn't totally satisfied by what I was doing. So, I went back to school and earned my Masters in Dietetics and became a registered dietitian. Working with the general public, I see how much information (and misinformation) is out there. It can be overwhelming! Understanding the facts about food, and how foods work in our bodies, helps us let go of myths and fear so we can get back to enjoying food that nourishes our bodies. That's why I believe in letting experts, like dietitians, deliver the straight answers. I can help you understand what works, what doesn't, why, and how you can make choices to live your healthiest and happiest life. I believe in a whole food approach, meaning everything in moderation. As a working mother, I don't want to spend all my time in the kitchen when there are pictures to paint, flowers to pick, and playgrounds to explore. I find ways to prepare most of my foods from scratch with a healthy dose of convenience foods to make it easier. I prep, plan, and produce (mostly) healthy and affordable meals the whole family will eat, with a sweet treat thrown in the mix for balance, and I always look for ways to get the littlest hands involved in the kitchen. For more information about me and what I do, and for ways to communicate health value with your customers, or to work with a registered dietitian for yourself, your practice, product, website, or blog, please visit and get in touch!